I don’t know why I ended up fake-naming Chrissie’s favorite game when we made it a point to use real brands like Starbucks and Electronic Arts elsewhere. But the original comments (and Flo, with the alt text) had tons of fun with it, so no regrets. (ICYMI, Eversummer is a riff on both EverQuest and Neverwinter.)

Xan is not perfect, but he knows that when he hears Chrissie call his name in alarm, priority one is to get immediately to her side. Since JJ breaking into Chrissie’s house was a trap that Chrissie and the others engineered, I doubt it was as traumatic for her as JJ breaking into Xan’s apartment to torture him was for him. They do have to live in Chrissie’s house now, presumably, and spackle the bullet holes from the cop fight. But even so, I think Chrissie’s occasional “jumpiness” has more to do with other times in her life. Her courage is strong in part because of how much she’s had to use it. Xan’s chill is well suited to her, and she’s good at instructing him in the arts of being a partner.

I like that “the guys” are still a part of Chrissie and Xan’s life six months after the events that pulled them together. And I love that Xan, who thought the game was fine but nothing special, was working on restoring part of it as a gift for the people who really loved it.

The real reason we close the chapter with this scene, though, is to sunset the connection between Sepia World and Arkerra. Kingdoms of Arkerra was never restored, despite desperate stakeholders’ best efforts: the game depended on a mystic link between worlds that ended with HR’s death. For the inhabitants of this world, it’s time to move on. And Bandit and the others will be moving on, too.

FB: [Fade to sepia-toned white]